General

Are you still offering in-person services? If not, how will you be interacting with my student and will this be as effective?

We’re primarily offering one-on-one, online tutoring and counseling sessions. We remain committed to providing an effective, personalized experience for students to get the best results out of each session. Our proctored exams are also being held remotely at this time. We plan on resuming in-person sessions as soon as it is safe to do so.

Are you offering discounts on remote tutoring and counseling?

Yes! We’re currently offering remote discounts for online services. Please visit our discounts page to learn more.

Test Prep

How will this affect my child's test prep timeline?

This depends entirely on your willingness to register for exams outside of LA County. The majority of test centers in Orange County, Ventura County, etc. have held their scheduled exams this fall, and some even over the summer. If you are willing to travel, your child’s timeline should not be impacted; in fact, many students are taking advantage of this current “down time” and using it to prepare for standardized tests earlier than usual in order to get them out of the way.

Since many schools are going test-optional this year, should I still test?

It depends on how you test. If you are capable of scoring on the upper end of a college’s average range, you should absolutely include your scores with your application. However, if you are unable to score within a college’s average range and your scores will be the weakest part of your profile, it is best to omit them. Simply put: if you can give colleges yet another reason to be impressed by you, do it!

My SAT/ACT test date was canceled. What do I do now?

First, reschedule your test date as soon as possible! Seats are limited and fill up quickly. Also, keep in mind that test centers make individual decisions about whether or not to administer the SAT/ACT based on CDC and local guidelines. If you are registered to take an exam in a city that is considered a COVID-19 "hotspot," you may want to explore testing outside your county or even state, if/when it is safe to do so.

 

Next, stay prepared! You should continue working on your skills so they remain as sharp as possible come test day. We recommend shifting your test prep plan and schedule based on your next official test date to stay focused and avoid losing momentum.

Counseling

What are the major ways that you anticipate the college admissions process changing because of COVID-19?

It will be more difficult for students to differentiate themselves than ever before. Without test scores, extracurricular accomplishments, or summer activities -- and with junior and senior year grades based on unreliable and uneven online learning -- Admissions officers can’t turn to their normal factors to compare students. College essays will be more important than ever before for students to paint a picture of who they are and what they can offer.

What can I do to differentiate myself from other applicants while I'm stuck at home during quarantine?

Use your extra time wisely! You know all those things you’ve always said you’d do, if only you had the time? Well, now you do. Learn a language, start a charity, launch an Etsy store, register for college classes online -- take on what you’d never otherwise be able to take on. Prove to colleges that you are driven by genuine curiosity and/or dedication to a cause, and show them that you truly love learning and/or want to make a difference.

Should I write an essay about how the pandemic affected me? Why/why not?

As a general rule, only write about the pandemic if your experiences were more extreme than those of your peers -- for instance; if a parent lost a job because of COVID-19, which required you to move or switch schools, that is a disruption worth noting. However, if you would simply talk about learning to appreciate the little things, missing your activities and face-to-face interactions, or what you did to keep busy, it’s best to avoid this topic.

What are your thoughts about taking a gap year with everything going on?

It depends on what a student would do with it! While it seems a terrible waste of time, money, and energy to spend your freshman year locked in your dorm room (or worse, in your parents’ house!), a lot of students have argued that they couldn’t accomplish anything better with their time off -- no travel, no internships or jobs, nothing. However, if you have a small business that you’ve wanted to get off the ground or an artistic endeavor you’ve been trying to find time for, a gap year might make a lot of sense. Keep your options open until the spring, when we’ll have a better sense of what the world looks like in the fall of 2021.

My child was hoping to be recruited to play college sports. What kind of changes should we anticipate there? How do we get them seen?

The number one change in all of this is that all contact and evaluations for Division I recruiting has been suspended until at least January 1, 2021 (meaning no off-campus recruiting and no on-campus visits in conjunction with athletes). The NCAA, especially at the D1 level, has been evolving as things change, but that is where things stand currently.

 

Outside of the top division, recruiting activities are allowable on a school-by-school basis, based on local and campus regulations for visits and contacts. There is no all-encompassing legislation or rules at the moment. However, all allowable normal email or phone contact is allowed at all levels.

 

Additionally, all athletes that are currently on college rosters have been granted an additional year of college eligibility. This is going to significantly change the needs for college programs.